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SunTrips Drops Flights and Tours, Leaving Travelers in a Bind [05/30/2006]
The San Jose tour company formerly known as SunTrips left many would-be travelers and travel agents empty-handed. Vacationers and travel agents are out millions of dollars since the company that arranged low-cost charter tours to vacation spots like Mexico and Hawaii canceled tours and stopped offering flights.

The tour group was FS SunTours Inc. doing business as SunTrips. FS SunTours is now processing refunds for people whose flights were canceled. When a company representative was reached for comment, he said the company is dedicated to processing refunds as quickly as possible, but would not say when they could be expected.

Travel agents are trying to get $1.8 million in commissions owed to them through a class-action lawsuit filed against the tour group by a San Francisco travel attorney.

Sun Trips operated as many as 16 charter flights a week from Oakland International Airport during peak summer months last year.

"Their impact at Oakland Airport was minimal," said an airport spokeswoman, who indicated her SunTrips contacts no longer worked for the company or were not answering calls.

Travel agent Rob Hunter, owner of Your Vacation Center in Sacramento, is owed about $18,000, and is part of the class-action suit filed in Santa Clara Superior Court. "I think the only way for me to ever get any money back is through legal action," Hunter said. Hunter is owed bills from Aug. 10, for commissions and cooperative marketing ads in newspapers. "We stopped the marketing in October when they stopped paying the bills."

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